November 18, 2015 -- The challenges and opportunities facing Christian publishers, and the power of God’s Word to impact the world, were two themes that emerged from C-Suite Symposium, the annual conference for publishing leaders, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 8 to 10.
Author, attorney, and broadcaster Hugh Hewitt kicked off the event with a clarion call to build for the future by identifying, encouraging, and enabling a new generation to enter the field of Christian publishing. In addition to a schedule that includes speaking, moderating GOP debates, and hosting a daily syndicated radio show, Hewitt teaches at Colorado Christian University. “Tomorrow’s publishing leaders are on today’s Christian college campuses,” he said.
David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group and a bestselling author, presented data about members of the millennial generation, who are sometimes characterized as leaving the church, but who have great passion to bring the love of Christ to the world. Kinnaman believes the church is far from irrelevant to this generation. If anything, publishers need to work more closely with the church to create books and resources to inspire and disciple young adults.
The last day of C-Suite began with a legal panel that addressed some of the concerns publishers have about religious freedom, specifically the freedom to publish and the freedom to populate their organizations with those who align with their core beliefs.
The final presenter at C-Suite was Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby and the founder of the Museum of the Bible (MOTB), an ambitious center currently under construction in Washington DC and scheduled to open to the public in two years. Green’s passion is Bible engagement, and he is spending half of his time on the MOTB. In addition to the physical museum, which will occupy 430,000 square feet and is located just two blocks from the popular Air and Space Museum, the project is enabling a new generation of Bible scholars to conduct more research on the vast number of undiscovered artifacts in Israel.
Along with the presentations, where the publishing leaders were engaged in thoughtful Q&A sessions, there were two sessions for the attenders to express their concerns and share their ideas with the officers of the ECPA board. A highlight was the presentation of 1000 Bibles to the Glorieta Camp ministry in Santa Fe, where they encounter many campers who do not own Bibles and are so grateful for the ability now to gift beautiful leather editions of God's Word. It was a unique opportunity bless the community in which we gathered and we thank B&H Publishing Group for the donation.
From the interactions and attendee survey results, I believe that all who gathered came away as one executive told me personally, “I left with renewed energy to serve our Lord and see His Kingdom expanded."